Quantification of residual stress distribution in materials is useful in the development, applications and quality control of engineering materials. Several residual stress measurement techniques are already well established for characterizing different engineering materials, while others remain largely unexplored. Yet for commercial success, the residual stress measurement methodologies must not only be efficacious but also cost-effective, introducing a potential dichotomy between the need for sophistication and ease of production. As reviewed in this article, there are encouraging results in developing patented methodologies in elasto-plastic (crack-free) instrumented indentation residual stress measurement of materials. Recent developments in instrumented indentation based residual stress measurement are likely to help reconcile the industrial and commercial pressure on improving materials performance and quality control.